Curriculum Vitae (CV) Tips and Guidance

Your CV enables you to be your own best advocate for annual evaluations, academic promotion and recognition as a faculty member. Along with letters from internal and external referees and examples of scholarly work, a CV provides the major evidence used to evaluate candidates for promotion (or appointment) and many awards. It tells your academic story and documents your career. Thus, it is essential for your CV to include an accurate, complete record of all professional achievements, contributions and training from college onward.

Update While Information Is Fresh in Mind

Your CV is a living document. Do not wait until evaluation or promotion time to update it. At least once per month, confirm that every new presentation, publication, committee membership, appointment, award or other professional contribution or accomplishment related to clinical care, education and/or research has been added to your CV, with full documentation/citation information. Less frequent updates may lead to omissions or errors.

Remember: If it’s not on your CV, it may not be considered for your evaluation or promotion.

Tips for Creating or Updating Your CV

Formatting: Use the Baylor College of Medicine CV format for new appointments or promotion (Baylor login required). Be consistent in the use of punctuation, citation styles, bold or italic fonts and capitalization. Avoid grammatical errors or misspellings.

Personal Statement: Use the personal statement to describe major accomplishments within the context of your career goals. This section enables you to highlight unique aspects of your achievements, important collaborations and major contributions to science, education or clinical care. If you are a team scientist, be sure to describe your key contributions to the projects in which you are/have been involved.

Chronology:  Within each section of your CV, list all events or citations in reverse chronological order (from most recent to earliest) or in chronological order. When dates cover a range (e.g., 2005-2007), order by the first year in the range. Denote ongoing activities with a dash (e.g., 2004- ) or by specifically adding ‘present’ to the listing (2004-present). If the same activity occurs in multiple, nonconsecutive years, group the years as a single item (e.g., 1999-2001, 2004, 2007), again ordered by the first year in the range.   

Context: Where appropriate, add short explanations of your roles or responsibilities. For example, describe your contributions to a particular course or your leadership in organizing a symposium.

Reputation: Promotion on the tenure track requires a strong regional, national or even international reputation. Non-tenure track promotion requires a solid local, regional and/or national reputation. When updating your CV with activities conducted outside the College, be sure indicate if the organization, project or event is local, regional or national. Alternately, report these activities in separate sections included specifically for this purpose (i.e., regional, national, international).

Bold Your Name: Be sure your name is bolded in all citations of papers, presentations, grants, patents, etc.

Citations: All citations in the CV should be complete and formatted consistently. The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides useful citation guidelines. Even listings for conference presentations, grand rounds and/or published abstracts should include complete citation information: author(s); title of presentation, abstract, etc.; date; city; full conference title or name of sponsoring organization. Number the citation within each section. Check carefully to ensure that each citation appears in only one section of the CV.

Predatory Journals: Individuals are encouraged to evaluate the quality of any open access online journal prior to submitting a paper for publication. Some open access journals, referred to as predatory, do not follow accepted peer review and scholarly publication practices, and require authors to pay high article processing charges. Predatory journals and publishers often solicit conference abstracts and papers through email invitations that appear legitimate. Before submitting to an open access journal with which you are not familiar, check the Directory of Open Access Journals or resources available from the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. In a recent statement, the NIH recommended that authors avoid publishing in journals that do not have a clearly stated and rigorous peer review process.

Invited Presentations. List lectures, presentations, research seminars, panels, etc., for which you were invited to participate by the organizers, under Section II.B.5 Invited Presentations. Presentations and posters with a published abstract (based on a submission to a conference or similar event) should be cited in Section II.C.3 Published Abstracts. All other presentations, lectures, etc. should be listed in Section III.F Lectures and Presentations.

Unused Categories: Omit any category on the CV template that does not apply to you, or simply note “Not Applicable” in that section. In any case, maintain a separate master version of your CV that includes all categories as placeholders for future updates.

Jargon: On various occasions, your CV will be reviewed by individuals outside your direct field. Ensure clarity and limit potential confusion by avoiding abbreviations, acronyms and jargon that are not generally known (e.g., names of professional societies or meetings).

Page Numbers: Number pages to help readers navigate your CV. It is preferable to include a footer with your name, date of most recent update, and page numbers.